Tyler Ugolyn, CC '01
"What I remember most is his smile. ... Can you
put that into words?" Zack Schiller, CC '01, said about his close
friend and former classmate Tyler Ugolyn.
His pleasant company and trademark smile are two of the things that
Ugolyn's close friends remember most about the good-looking young man
with an endearing personality and optimistic outlook.
Ugolyn, 23, worked at Fred Alger Management, a major investment
management firm in the World Trade Center, following his college
At Columbia he was a student-athlete, playing both guard and
forward for the basketball team during his first two years. He had
been recruited by basketball Head Coach Armond Hill out of Ridgefield
High School in Connecticut. A 6'4'' high school basketball star,
Ugolyn was ranked among the top 250 recruits in the nation, was
nominated to the 1997 McDonald's High School All-American Team, and
received Honorable Mention recognition from the Addidas Blue Ribbon
Handbook heading into his tenure at Morningside Heights.
But Ugolyn played just two seasons for the Lions before choosing to
pursue other goals. Among his new initiatives, he joined friends and
teammates Gary Raimondo, CC '00, and John Krug, CC '01, in becoming
one of the founding members of Columbia Catholic Athletes. In addition
Ugolyn served as a Eucharistic Minister every Sunday at St. Paul's
"He never missed a single Mass in four years at Columbia," Schiller
Ugolyn was also an active member of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity,
serving as vice president, secretary, and webmaster. Living in the
fraternity house on 114th Street, taking classes towards his economics
major, working in the Dodge Physical Fitness Center, and participating
in several community service groups, Ugolyn was a positive presence in
and an active member of the Columbia community. Even though he was
often busy refereeing intramural basketball games, sharing a meal at
The Heights restaurant with peers, or working at the inner city youth
basketball league he helped start for Harlem children, Ugolyn always
had time to talk and joke around with friends.
"He was a presence," one friend told the Ridgefield Press.
"No, he was his own presence. He was an inspiration to be around. He
was the centerpiece."
Tyler is survived by his parents Victor and Dianne; his younger
brother Trevor, a sophomore at Cornell; and his maternal and paternal
grandparents, who live in Springfield, Mass.